Thursday, June 28, 2018

News: ASB declines in Rotherham town centre

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The number of incidents of anti-social behaviour (ASB) has declined in Rotherham town centre since the introduction of the borough's first Public Space Protection Order (PSPO).

The order was introduced last September in the town centre and Clifton Park after the Council said that it continued to receive complaints about a minority of people who behave in an unacceptable way.

A PSPO introduces a number of prohibitions to address the anti-social behaviour of individuals visiting these areas. By outlining these prohibitions it makes it clear what kind of behaviour is acceptable in the town centre.

Conditions were drafted in direct response to the concerns raised by the public, partners, businesses and councillors. They include: behaving in such a way or using language that causes, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to another person; drinking alcohol other than in a licensed premises or event; spitting and using or carrying illegal drugs.

Any individual in breach of the PSPO is subject to a £100 penalty. Those that failed to pay this would be liable for prosecution.

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An update to the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner on policing in the Rotherham district reports that the PSPO and the introduction of officers to address town centre issues has had an impact.

2016 saw 824 recorded incidences of ASB in the town centre area. 631 were recorded in the PSPO area in 2017. Since the introduction of the order, all months have seen a reduction when compared to the same months in the previous year. February 2018 saw the lowest monthly figure for over a year, at 35.

Chief Superintendent Rob Odell, Rotherham District Commander, said in the report: "Rotherham town centre has been blighted by anti-social street drinking, aggressive begging and street crime. Our Central team are working hand-in-glove with the local authority to resolve.

"On the 20th of September 2017 the town's first Public Space Protection Order was introduced. Since this time, it has been policed by both agencies, resulting in an escalation process from first warning, Fixed Penalty Notices (revenue of which to community chest) and arrests.

"Drug and alcohol treatment services and third sector support groups are working with us to respond to the town's begging and vagrancy issues.

"Since the introduction of officers dedicated to the town centre's problems and the PSPO, anti-social behaviour has declined; positive commentary from the shopkeepers and public has improved."

Rotherham Council's continued crackdown on litter also appears to be having an affect. With a private sector enforcement contract in place, more than 6,500 fixed penalty notices for litter and dog fouling were issued in the 2017/18 financial year.

The Council said that the enforcement "appears to have had an impact on the street scheme of the town centre and has raised the profile of the issue significantly."

Images: SY Police

1 comments:

Anonymous,  July 4, 2018 at 9:57 AM  

Simply because these problems aren't being recorded doesn't mean they haven't gone away. I called 111, as instructed to log a particularly unpleasant incident yesterday. It took me nearly an hour to get through... the second of the day. The police were not interested.

I am frankly sick and tired of having to deal with the drunks and druggies who regularly set up camp in the town centre.

I know there's no easy answer to resolving the issue, but just about every other town or city in the UK takes a zero tolerance approach to this sort of behaviour. Why isn't something being done to tackle this in Rotherham?

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